Threat of fresh protest: Police deploy operatives to Lekki toll gate
Written by MaryGift Sunday on February 13, 2021
The Police on Friday dispatched armed operatives along the Lekki corridor following threats by some youth to ‘occupy’ the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on Saturday.
The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) said on Twitter last night that “CSP Yinka Egbeyemi is presently leading a team of police officers on a show of force to Lekki Toll Gate (Admiralty Plaza) Obalende, Ikoyi, Jakande Roundabout, and other areas in Eti Osa.”
The Police department said this was “part of efforts to deter crime as well as boost the morale of his officers in the areas”.
The deployment came on a day Rinuola Oduala, one of the two youth representatives on the nine-member Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing police brutality and the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate last October, withdrew from the panel.
Oduala attributed her decision to what she called the panel’s unwillingness to serve the course of justice for victims of the Lekki shootings of last October 20, citing the planned reopening of the Lekki toll gate.
The re-opening of the toll gate is the same reason given for the new protest by its organizers.
Two opposing camps – #OccupyLekkiTollGate and #DefendLagos – are planning separate protests on Saturday.
The call for the fresh protests commenced after the nine-member of the Lagos Panel of Inquiry approved the reopening of the toll plaza.
The chairman, Justice Doris Okuwobi and four others ruled in favour of another application by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC).
The Federal and Lagos State Governments as well as the police have declared any protests coming so soon after the October mayhem as unacceptable.
Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said in Abuja that while peaceful protests are the constitutional rights of Nigerians, violent protests will not be allowed.
“At this time, the chances that any peaceful protest will be hijacked are very high,” he said.
He added: “based on the intelligence at the disposal of the Federal Government, some Nigerian activists have linked up with others outside Nigeria, including subversive elements, with a view to destabilizing the country.
“We cannot and must not allow this to happen.
“Never again will the Federal Government allow the kind of violence that was perpetrated across the country under the guise of the EndSars last October.
“Never again will anyone or group be allowed to destroy cities or to kill and maim innocent citizens, including security agents, under any guise.”
He told those planning to re-occupy Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday to drop the idea as any further resort to violence in the name of #EndSars will not be tolerated.